Auction Update Review
For the week ending 11/14/09 17 sales were archived: 6 in $, 2 in British Pounds, 8 in Euros and 1 in Swiss francs. Total sales, expressed in dollars, were $12,648,632. Twelve thousand five hundred seventy four lots were offered and 7,470 sold for a 59.4% sell-through. For the 6 sales priced in dollars 77% sold. For all others 56% changed hands. The results for the dollar denominated sales were encouraging, for sales in other currencies disappointing. Sales in the United States which suffered earlier this year, with reserves that were too high, seem to be quickly adjusting to lower buyer expectations. In Europe, which this past spring seemed almost exempt from the downward trend, there is apparent increasing resistance to reserves [as expressed by the below average sell-through rate]. European houses have consistently sold more than 75% of their lots. This past week, on high volume, only 56% changed hands.
If the experience in the United States holds, Europe can expect consignors and auction houses to get on the same page by Spring, 2010.
The average lot price for all auctions was $1,693, the dollar denominated lots $1,457, all others $1,751.